In the US, people point to “culture” as our fundamental impediment to excellence.
And the arguments come in many flavors. But what they say essentially boils down to one theme:
We don’t have the numbers, they say.
- Numbers in terms of audience
- Numbers in terms of consumers
- Numbers in terms of money
- Numbers in terms of “best athletes” (whatever that means)
- Numbers in terms of how many years MLS (or any infrastructure) has been around
They argue that if we did have the numbers (always sold out stadiums, NFL level TV audiences, MLB level player salaries, a 70 year old league instead of 19, etc …), that would change everything. Our problem of mediocrity would be solved.
So what’s England’s problem? They have it all!
And yet. And yet the English player and team is no Spain, Holland, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, France, or even Germany.
Because the real cultural problem is not about the numbers!
It’s a fundamental and personal socio-economic issue. It’s in the attitude and the way of life.
p.s. I’ll be writing dozens of articles on this topic. It’s huge, and riddled with loads of things people are frankly blind to, or scared to talk about. Help get me started with your contributions.